Chicago >Food & Dining > A Mano
335 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.888726 -87.629436
Mon-Thu 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-10pm
Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
Citysearch Editorial Review – This vast but cozy subterranean Italian restaurant is a grazer's delight. Most of the butcher paper-covered tables are filled with young couples and groups of girlfriends sharing plates of thinly sliced cured meats and Italian cheeses or antipasti such as fava bean and mint bruschetta and prosciutto-wrapped melon. The centerpiece of the gleaming central open kitchen is a hand-built wood-burning oven, which gets near-constant use cooking up eight different chewy-crusted pizzas loaded with toppings like whole roasted clams with garlic and capers and wild mushrooms with hazelnuts and truffle oil. A gelato bar to the left of the lounge space displays a dozen tempting, made-in-house flavors worth dumping a diet for.
Thumbs Up – I'm not a manager at A Mano but I eat there quite often and I LOVE it. The menu is full of delcious, authentic Italian options. One of my favorites is the Thursday night special, veal involtini, the best veal I've ever tasted. I'm also hooked on the pizzas, they're perfect, baked in a wood-burning oven. Fun place, the people are cool - really inviting and warm. Don't forget to try the gelato!
All image with terrible food! – I can't believe a user on here said that this place has the best pizza in Chicago. Apparently, that person has not tried enough Chicago pizza. I had the margaritta pizza form here and it was soo bland. It tasted like cardboard! I really think the good reviews written about this restaurant is from the manager at Amano. The service is extremely slow. It took over an hour to get the food! The appetizers look very pretty, but they taste terrible. The asparagus salad consisted of a measly 6 butter drenched asparagus placed in a crisscrossed fashion. Included in the asparagus dish is diced black olives that look like goose poops. Don't eat it, it's gross! The chicken dish I ordered tasted like airline food. My friend ordered a steak and he said it had a weird chemical taste. Overall, their pleasant ambiance did not compensate for the slow service and disgusting food!
My top pick for Italian – My family is Italian and I've been to Italy several times, so I tend to be a bit hard to please when it comes to claims of "authentic" Italian food. This place came the closest to the real deal by far, in comparison to other restaurants I've tried. I've especially enjoyed the lunch buffet, it's just like what you find in Italy!
Best Patio, Best Pizza, Best Wine – Ok, I'm a Pizza Snob and am proud of it! A mano has the best in the city (thus far) Seriously, if you're looking for the real deal, thin, crisp and chewy with great toppings and a wood oven char, this is the place. I was there on a Tuesday night, had 3 different pizzas - Clam - in the shell, no less, Margherita- I'm a purist and Gorgonzola Dolce- grapes and cheese. Only issue, there are only 5 or 6 pizza choices, could be more in my opinion. The Patio sets below street level on Dearborn and is really cool, it was full but we didn't feel packed in (Quartino take note) The service was really good, and the server recommended a White Pinot Noir from Italy that blew me away, ask for it, I can't remember the name. (no, I wasn't tipsy) Anyhoo- it was great and we will be back.
Best Italian I've had in a long time – May husband and I had dinner at A MANO last night and really loved it. We sat outside which was really nicely decorated with flowers and plants. The food was very good - we shared some antipasto (prosciutto, octopus and eggplant caponata), a pizza - again prosciutto!, and split a pasta and a the whole roasted fish. All were great. We polished off two carafes of wine as well. Finally, we shared some of the gelato - a combo of three flavors, and it was delicious - I'd come back just for that. The whole tab was about $90 plus tax and tip - so a pretty good deal.
2 Hours of my life, and $225 I will never get back!! – What a HUGE disappointment. This place was recommended by someone in the office. I am new to the area and needed a nice place to impress a client. This place was a HUGE mistake. They service was insanely slow, unfriendly and pretentious. I don't think anyone in the place had a smile or a nice attitude. Then the food came. I can't believe this place is still open. The appetizers were really disappointing. Overloaded with oil, and very little flavor. The meal was pretty much the same, so at least they are consistent. I think over all, my night was a success! Because my client and I sort of bonded over the shabby service and disappointing food. There are tons of GREAT restaurants in Chicago, don't waste your time or money on this one. $225 for 2 people...
Big time let down – We ordered a salad, soup, pizza and pasta dish to split. They were all bad. Salad tasted like pure salt. People working there seemed nice though. Maybe just ordered all the wrong things. Bin 36 upstairs is way better as far as the food goes and the wine flights are a lot of fun. Don't waste your money here. You can do much much better somewhere else.
Beautiful presentation of food, great service, great atmosphere – This is a great date night spot - well, not if you're a student because the prices are a little steep, but - if you're willing to shell out the extra cash, definitely come here. I loved the wide open concept of the restaurant - I don't think a walk-in should have a problem being seated. I made reservations for a party of two on a Friday night and was seated immediately. They don't serve the "traditional" Italian fare of heavy pastas and bread-y foods, so don't come here if you want a good lasagna or the like. I suggest ordering the trio of appetizers as they have so many to choose from, you'll be overwhelmed. The carpaccio is amazing. I wouldn't say this is the most amazingly romantic restaurant, but I think the atmosphere lends itself to being a good place to bring anyone from a boyfriend/girlfriend to a large group of friends.
A wonderful Italian experience! – My wife and I went to Italy in May of this year and have ever since been eating at various Italian restaurants around the city really just for fun and to stir up our favorite memories. Well, we just got home from an absolutely wonderful meal at A Mano and felt more like we were back in Italy than in any restaurant we have been in yet! The service was terrific and complemented with excellent recommendations and a great fun loving attitude! We had the salumi and the goat cheese for apps-- very very tasy! The wine selection was excellent and we loved the 1/2 carafe option (just like Italy :-) ). We had the Margherita Pizza which was a huge favorite for us in Italy and this one definitely held its own! Then our main dishes were Farfalle Amatriciana and the Pumpkin Ravioli, both just alive with flavor and freshness! And lastly, our favorite dish from Italy, one we had several times a day minimum -- Gelato. All we can say is that they do it right!! And we splurged a bit and had the Robiola & Ricotta Cheesecake as well, which was one of the best cheesecakes we have ever had--nothing like sprinkling a little aged balsamic vinegar on a dessert :-) We will definitely be going back!! We recommend you go and ask for Cenna, she is the delightful waitress who made our night!!
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